Not on display
- Haegue Yang born 1971
- Powder-coated aluminium, steel, plastic, led lights and nylon
- Overall display dimensions variable
- Purchased with funds provided by the Asia-Pacific Acquisitions Committee and Kyung-soo Huh, Sung-Moon Kwon, Tae Won Hahn and Byucksan Foundation 2018
Sol LeWitt Upside Down – Structure with Three Towers, Expanded 23 Times, Split in Three 2015 is a large-scale modular installation comprised of over 500 aluminium Venetian blinds. The work directly references Structure with Three Towers 1986 by American artist Sol LeWitt (1928–2007), one of the leading figures of minimalism and a pioneer of conceptual art. In Yang’s piece, the open-form cubes of LeWitt’s original work have been replaced by horizontally overlaid rows of venetian blinds. As the title indicates, the overall structure has been magnified twenty-three times to scale, divided into three parts and suspended upside down from the ceiling.
This monumental installation offers a prime example of Yang’s ongoing exploration of abstract forms and systematic repetition, as well as of the notion of transfiguration from the banal and ordinary (in the use of everyday objects like blinds) to the artistic and noteworthy. Since 2006 Yang has used customised Venetian blinds to create multi-sensorial environments that are ruminations on dislocation and place. As one of her signature materials, she has developed increasingly ambitious and nuanced installations using the blinds to create bold spatial and experiential interventions. In Sol LeWitt Upside Down, the material creates layers and distinct groupings that appear different as the viewer moves around the installation, oscillating between a collection of familiar objects and a minimalist composition of forms. Yang sees this piece as an investigation of the nature of abstraction – one that links LeWitt’s practice with her own interests in form, space and conceptual notions of authority and authorship.
Sol Lewitt Upside Down was first exhibited in Yang’s solo presentation at Leeum, Samsung Museum of Art, Seoul in 2015. Tate’s work is a variation which was shown at the 13th Lyon Biennial in 2015 – at which point Yang split the work into three individual forms and added geometric arrangements of fluorescent lights along the tops of the towers. It was also exhibited in the Unlimited section of Art Basel in 2016.
One of the leading artists of her generation in South Korea, Haegue Yang works across a wide range of media, from collage to installation to performance. She typically employs everyday materials such as Venetian blinds, domestic appliances, furniture and light bulbs to create abstract compositions and narratives that respond to, and redefine, given spaces. Yang’s multisensory environments become meditations on labour politics, borders, emotional connection and alienation, filled with references to various moments of abstraction throughout art history.
Nicolas Garait (ed.), 13th Lyon Biennale – Modern Life, exhibition catalogue, Lyon Biennale 2015.
Doryun Chong, Pauline J. Yao and Haegue Yang (eds.), The Malady of Death by Marguerite Duras, Hong Kong 2015.
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